Disney World is filled with many talented cast members: more than 70,000, to be exact But even the janitors join in on the magic — as custodial artists. Their artwork is now becoming more known online thanks to Imgur and Reddit.
Redditor TheVantasy posted photos on Tuesday of street art she created while working as a custodian at Disney World. The cast member started in Disney's college intern program and later stayed on as a seasonal employee. Her paintbrush was the same one she cleaned with; her paint was water. She needed only these two tools to create drawings that brought some people to tears.
"I gotta say, at first I was doing it because it was more fun than, y'know, cleaning, but then I realized how much guests really liked it," the custodian, who revealed only her last name, Perfect (of course), wrote. "I cried on my last day working because I drew Minnie Mouse for a little girl who hugged me to say thank you because she didn't speak English."
According to Disney Parks' official blog, the street art dates back to at least 2009 in the U.S.
"The inspiration to create the water-sketch characters came from Tokyo Disneyland Park," social media director Thomas Smith wrote. "Operations manager for custodial at Magic Kingdom Park, Kent Krause, said, 'Hey, we can do that.'"
While seemingly popular, the skill of painting characters with water is not a mandatory one for custodians. Smith noted that cast members from Disney's Hollywood Studios trained interested janitors.
"He only taught us Mickey and we were there for about 20 minutes," the Reddit user said of her training experience at Disney World. "I had to learn the rest of the characters on my own."
In addition to the "Fab 5" — Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto — the user noted that she could draw other characters. Photos she posted show both the young and grown-up versions of Simba from "The Lion King" plus Stitch from "Lilo & Stitch."
"I can do Mickey and Donald in just a few seconds," she said. "Things like Simba, however, took a few minutes."
The photos have park visitors and cast members sharing stories on Reddit about the water art and other experiences inside the Magic Kingdom. If one thing is evident, it is that the magic is not limited just to children.
"I really miss doing this,"TheVansaty said. The annual summer pilgrimage to Florida became too much of an obstacle for the custodial artist. "The kids' reactions, even the adults', were just too awesome.